Day 5: A reflection on the good that what we have omitted rather than the not so good we have committed.
This is the last of the 5 days of reflection. And I find it particularly hopeful because it requires that I look carefully at what moral principles I am already converted to and use those as the basis for reflection. It is easier it be asked to recommit to things that you already wish to do, but just haven't made the time or preparations for instead of being asked to stop doing stuff that you are indulging in and aren't sure you really want to give up.
So today’s piece focuses on actions that are the results of our decisions based upon our own internal priorites and moral compasses rather than prescribed external requirements of avoidance of evil: Things like Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. When smitten, turn the other cheek. When asked for a coat, give your cloak also. Forgive, not just once but seventy times seven, all of which require an inner commitment and a personal moral evaluation. This was the essence of the new gospel. There is, if you look at it carefully, more emphasis on perceive, choose and do in the gospel than on do not.
Moral agency has been given to each of us to make choices as to things to do and ways to respond. And it is good to reflect on and recommit ourselves and our resources to the actions and understandings that we believe are good, but to which we neglect to commit sufficient time or resources in our busy pursuit of other demands or interests in our lives.
What are the moral priorities in your life to which you would be wise to recommit your time, talents and resource and make plans to incorporate better in your life? What actions and responses would increase in your life if you did so?
For each person the answer will be different. Here are some questions to ask yourself, or to get you thinking about other questions that would apply to you.
After each of the following questions, pause and listen for God's impressions.
Questions for reflection: (a) Am I neglecting regular time in thoughtful study of scripture and meditation thereon? ___ (b) Have I recognized certain sins in my life but failed to fully repent and make restitution? ___ (c) Do I neglect to speak truth? ___ (d) Have I neglected to use my gifts and talents to bless others? ___ (e) Have I failed to treat others with whom I disagree with wise forbearance? ___ (f) Am I daily forgetting to seek to reflect God’s grace in my interactions and choices? ___ (g) Am I failing to donate resources to help those who are less fortunate than I? (h) Have I neglected to work at improving my marriage and family life? ___ (i) Do I fail to regularly communicate with God?
It’s a new year, and a new time, with time for reflection, increased understanding and thoughtful change. Writing what you wish to implement anew in your life will help.
All this for some enlightening and hopeful understanding and course correction that will increase the peace in your heart, the wise, accurate hope in your perceptions, and an increased ability to recognize and find greater comprehension in the resultant good changes in your life and in the lives of others. Enjoy.
A blessed New Year to you.